Posted by Wendy Coulton
I think my neighbours must have been impressed when they saw me clear out space in my garage this month. But the truth is I had no choice. You see, next week it will be the new home for the eye-catching and thought provoking centre piece for a free public event I have organised about end of life matters in my home city Plymouth.
My garage will be the temporary enclosure for an extra large paper mache elephant (as if sourcing one in the first place wasn’t difficult enough!) until it hopefully will stop people in their tracks at Plymouth Central Library at The Elephant in the Room event on Friday 27th and Saturday 28th March 2015.
The saying ‘elephant in the room’ refers to an obvious problem or difficult situation that people do not want to acknowledge or talk about. And that is exactly what I have witnessed too often with bereaved families in distress, conflict and hardship because no preparation was discussed or made for death.
My response to this was to get 15 respected speakers all under one roof across this two day event to cover a wide range of end of life topics including:
* money and legal matters before and following death
* health and social care issues like choosing where to die and the identity loss carers may experience when the person they have looked after dies
* last wishes
* organ donation
* what to do when you suspect someone may be suicidal
* what happens at the crematorium
* business succession planning for the self-employed and small firms
* the work of the coroner; and
* bereavement care for children and young people
There will also be a Death Cafe discussion forum and information stands in the advice hub.
The aim of this free event is to encourage people to come in and find out more about their choices and key issues they may need to consider and plan for in the future.
Wouldn’t it fantastic if just as university open days, wedding fayres and recruitment events are commonplace, we could establish at least annually a similar approach to a focus on end of life issues and services?
More event detail will be posted in February on www.dragonflyfunerals.co.uk